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Am I a terrible daughter because I don't want my mother to live with me?

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I've been assigned the role of The Bad Guy for my mother, and I've accepted it. If I'm the Bad Guy for 'putting' her in Assisted Living (and now Memory Care) to keep her safe & well, then so be it. I accept it. I made a decision long long ago that I would NOT take my parents into my home to live with me, that once was MORE than enough (when I was a kid), and that's THAT.

When she starts carrying on (mostly to my son) that I 'should be' taking her to live with me, I simply tell her that I'm SHOCKED she would even SUGGEST such a thing, given all of her tons of health and mobility issues! That her wheelchair wouldn't even FIT into ONE of my bathrooms, let alone up the steps into my house. That we work all day and nobody would be here to pick her up off the floor after taking one of her many, many, many falls (over 50 that we're aware of to date) and leaving her alone all day would NOT be safe or in her best interest.

Sorry not sorry. Love you mom, but you are where you belong. Moving right along to the next subject........

Guilt is a self imposed emotion that serves no useful purpose. Unless you are trying to 'punish' your mother by having her safe & secure in Assisted Living, I'd let go of the notion that you're deserving of guilt in any way, shape or form.
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Sunnydayze Oct 20, 2020
Excellent post.
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It is yourself you need to come to terms with, not your mother. You know who she is, and likely always have known. I am 78. All my adult life I have told my children NOT to take me into (or even on the property of their home. It is hard enough for us to live with chosen partners and our own children in life, and those are the people we OWE to. Our parents chose to have us whatEVER their reasons were. Theirs was the duty to raise us well as they were able given their own limitations. Time now to recognize your own limitations. You can provide what you are able in loving care while recognizing that you have your own life to live. You can provide gentle joy-filled visits. You are not a felon. You have not committed heinous crimes with malice aforethought. Guilt is for them. You are not Ms Fix It. You cannot make everything about the losses that come to us with aging OK. You are a human being with a right to your life, and with your own limitations. If you need help with understanding that fact on a deep inner level then I recommend licensed Social Worker who deals with therapy for life passes or psychologist. You are not a Saint. If you were we would shoot you full of arrows, kill you, then pray to you for eternity to fix EVERYTHING for ALL of us.
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Sunnydayze Oct 20, 2020
This is such a true and wise post. Thank you.
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The next time she lays into you, turn it back on her. "Mum, the way you are behaving right now, affirms that it is not in my best interests to have you in my home. You will receive far more professional and 24/7 care in a facility."
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JoAnn29 Oct 20, 2020
Like that
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What a terrible mother!

How dare she insist that you give up your privacy and ability to live your own life by throwing guilt at you. I am incensed on your behalf.

I wonder if she lived with you if she would moan all day that she was lonely and missed seeing people and having activities?

If I were you, the minute she starts in with the guilt, I would get up and leave.
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Sarah3 Oct 23, 2020
Gosh,....did you really just tell the op she has a “horrible mother”?
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Do not let your mom guilt you about this.  I would never ask my own daughter to take me on in addition to her other responsibilities and essentially not have  a life of her own. I don't want my mom to expect that of me either.  I have no desire to be a 24 hr a day caregiver.  I don't have it in me.  Add in the fact that mom has dementia, so I am dealing with someone who is mentally not there and it is definitely not my desire to deal with that 24/7.  Even though her siblings try to guilt me about it and say even though you're working you could hire in people to take care of her while you're at work.  I said I have no desire to move her in with me, but if you feel compelled, you are more than welcome to move her into your home and deal with someone who can't be left alone for a minute, doesn't want to bathe, repeats herself over and over and over again and then accuses you of stealing her things.  Have at it.  That pretty much shuts them up.  None of them have taken care of anyone in this capacity and I find their suggestions ignorant and insulting.  Dealing with a parent or spouse who has dementia has its stages.  I don't mean their stages of the disease, I mean your stages of acceptance and dealing with it.  In the beginning I was shocked, then I was overwhelmed trying to manage everything, then I got mad about it all, then I got busy and placed her in a lovely facility 2 minutes from my home.  I don't feel guilty at all.  I have done an excellent job of managing my mothers care and she didn't have to be under my roof for me to do it.

Do not feel guilty.
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disgustedtoo Oct 21, 2020
This is an answer I would like to up vote 1,000 times or more! I love how you shut the others up. If telling them doesn't work, arrange for a day you can drop the person off, even if it's just a few hours and let them taste it!!!

I did what I could to try to keep mom in her condo longer, but we never got past 1hr/day aides, who really had nothing to do except check on her, perhaps go buy some milk and juice and check/remind her to take her meds from a timed/locked dispenser. The plan was to increase them if/when needed, but less than 2 mo later, she refused to let them in!

Plan B - find a NICE place, nearer to where I live (her condo was 1.5 hours each way!), manage all the finances, condo until sold, etc and continue to advocate for her, see she's well cared for, cont managing finances, etc. The care they provide is WAY more than I could ever do myself, even if I could hire help. The place and staff is so nice, I've said I would like to live there, if I ever need to give up living in my own place (it's IL/AL/MC.)

Already told my kids, if/when the time comes, find a nice place for me, manage finances, etc for me, MAKE SURE I DON'T GET FAT and visit only if YOU want to visit. Also make sure my kitties find a good home, if I have any left by then...
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Deal with it by not listening to it. The minute she starts using the words that trigger you into feeling guilt, end the conversation. Leave. Hangup the phone. Guilt is for when you have done something wrong and you've done nothing wrong. If she doesn't get the drift that you no longer hang around for her guilt trips, then it's okay to be honest about not wanting her living with you: "Mother, I don't want to live with you. I understand that's what you want but it isn't what I want. Please respect that."
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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I so wish I had kept that post from when I first started on this forum. Her parents wanted her to care for them. She said something like this:

would you hire someone who has not been trained to care for people.

would you hire someone who could not cook and clean and so on. Her parents said no. She said, then u don't want me.

If you work, there is no way Mom would like being alone all day. Then u come home to caring for her. She is better where she is. She gets to dine with others. Has activities and entertainment.

Of all my Moms 4 kids, I was the one she could guilt. That changed after years of the only one who was there. My house is not conducive to someone who can't do stairs.
Mom did better in an AL where she could walk around and was able to Socialize.
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First I need to response to what you have written in your BIO, and that is that "you're a terrible daughter for not wanting to care for your mom in your home."
You are NOT a terrible daughter, you are a smart one who knows your limitations, and knows she's better off in someone else's care. There is nothing wrong with that. I've said it many times on this forum, and I'll say it again, NOWHERE is it written that children have to take care of their parents as they age. NOWHERE!!! So while your mom is trying to guilt you into caring for her, you just need to say, because I do love you, I want the very best care for you, and unfortunately that is not with me, so let's together figure out where that may be. Your mom is just afraid of what her future is going to look like and she's taking it out on you. Stay strong and stand your ground. Mom will be just fine where ever she ends up for her care. Best wishes.
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disgustedtoo Oct 20, 2020
"NOWHERE is it written that children have to take care of their parents as they age. NOWHERE!!!"

One exception - those who join this forum and then lay MORE guilt on those like OP looking for reassurance. BUT, that is just THEIR opinion and THEIR prerogative. Just because THEY say so doesn't make it so!!!
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Let’s look at who should feel guilty here. You are doing nothing wrong. Your mother is, and she is the one who should feel guilty. She is trying very hard to force on you what she thinks is in her best interest, even when you have made it clear that you don’t want it. That’s not very nice behavior!

Get rid of the guilt in your own head, and turn the tables on her. How can you be so unkind to me, mother, when you know that I just can’t do what you want? Do you want me to feel bad? Don’t you care at all about me?
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lavidaloca31 Oct 23, 2020
Love your response.
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I would ask her how she wanted to spend the rest of her days - alone having estranged a previously loving daughter or trying to maintain a guilt-free, positive relationship with her daughter. If she continues guilting you, I’d set strict boundaries and limits on your visits and conversations with her. Take care of yourself or you’ll end up resenting her or worse.
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 22, 2020
What a wonderful description of any potential caregiver situation.

You said a mouthful in just a few words. You hit the nail on the head.

I wish I could have known you 20 years ago and heard what you wrote just now.

I could have spared mom and myself many headaches! Not to mention my husband and children too!
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